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Portage Area Chamber of Commerce
May 2021
Portage Wine Walk 2021
Downtown Portage came alive last Friday night with lots of people turning out for the Portage Chamber Wine Walk. As many as 300 people turned out to have a great time walking along the streets of downtown to reach this year's 16 stops for the wine samples.

The event sets the course to have people meeting in person to enjoy more upcoming Chamber events this summer---a welcome return to life as we knew it before the pandemic.

Thank you to the participating businesses, the bartenders, and all those who purchased tickets. You contributed to creating a memorable night and a wonderful event in Portage.

Thank you also to Douglas' Big Dog Saloon, celebrating 10 years in business this year (so be sure to stop there and have a drink to celebrate), for donating the wine cups.
Chamber Golf Outing
The Portage Chamber holding its annual Golf Outing on Wednesday, June 9 at the Portage Country Club. The outing is the largest fundraiser for the Chamber, helping us fulfill our leadership role in providing a healthy economy and high quality of life for the Portage area.

Join other Chamber members, clients and friends. Pre-registration is necessary for the outing. Tickets are on sale now and you can contact our office at 742-6242 for all the details.
'Thank You' to Guide advertisers
We would like to thank Portage Chamber members that were great partners in producing the 2021 Portage Community & Visitor Guide. Thank you to our members, Towns & Associates for advertising and design, LaCrosse Graphics for printing the guide and Solas & Kin Photography for providing some of the images, including the cover, featuring local celebrities Ken & Beth Manthey walking their bikes along the Levee Trail.

Feel free to share the guide with those near and far by Clicking Here for the digital version.

Thank You to our 2021 Community & Visitor Guide advertisers:
Cardinal FG
Wisconsin River Title Consultants
B & B Hitching Post
Blau Family Chiropractic
Madison College
Historic Indian Agency House
Portage Center for the Arts
Pointon Heating and Air Conditioning
Sheila Link Agency-American Family Insurance
Pride of America Camping Resort
Haareway Laser & Skin Rejuvenation Center
Portage State Bank
Best Western Resort Hotel & Conference Center
Trans Works Transmissions LLC
Agrace HospiceCare
General Engineering Company
Culver’s Restaurant
Kratz Funeral Home
La Tolteca Authentic Mexican Cuisine
Wilz Hometown Pharmacy
Community Bank of Portage
Terrytown Plumbing Heating and Cooling
Fenske & Associates, LLC
Bee Alive Yoga
Aspirus Divine Savior Hospital & Clinics
Don-Rick Insurance
Portage Community School District
Portage Lumber Do-It Best
Ho-Chunk Gaming
Miller, Brussell, Ebben & Glaeske, LLC
Hart & Olson Family Dentistry
Fort Winnebago Surgeons Quarters
Durward's Glen OLRG, Ltd.
Whole Choice Living - Nutrition & Wellness Consulting
Welcome New Chamber Members

Canape Sandwiches
2830 New Pinery Road, Suite J Portage, WI
Susan Arenas at 608-617-1718
A little something for everyone.
Serving delicious hot and cold sandwiches, hot dogs and more!

Kinship Mentoring of Columbia County, Inc.
1115 W. Pleasant Street, Suite 8 Portage, WI
Mark Considine at 608-697-5351
Providing support, structure, and supervision needed
for a positive mentoring relationship.
AMPI now hiring
Associated Milk Producers Incorporated (AMPI) is now hiring for General Production Industrial Maintenance positions. Earn $17 an hour and up to start with an excellent benefits package. Click Here for more information.
Summer Special at Bee Alive Yoga
Get a 3-month membership at Bee Alive Yoga for only $275 (originally $315). Accessible to any class. Membership begins May 29, 2021 and ends September 6, 2021.

Move Mindfully this May - Enjoy One free Chair Yoga Session in the month of May. Classes on Monday & Wednesday at 4:30pm, Tuesday & Thursdays at 10am. Call 608-745-9333 to sign up.  
Smart Future Scholarship Fund
The impact of support to the Madison College Foundation has never been so apparent. Madison College students have faced a year of job loss, illness and uncertainty. Receiving a scholarship this academic year gave these students the confidence and ability to press on with their dreams.

The Madison College Foundation provides over $1 million scholarships annually to diverse students from all across our district. Many of our scholarships are designated to students studying in certain fields or from specific backgrounds. To ensure that every student has an opportunity to receive funding, we also have a general scholarship fund, the Smart Future Scholarship Fund. This fund helps us award more scholarships so no student is denied an education due to financial barriers. You can be part of their journey so all can achieve their dreams. Gifts of all sizes are welcome and important. All gifts to this fund will be used to provide scholarships to students.
May Blood Drives
The Wisconsin American Legion will be hosting a community Blood Drive on Wednesday, May 12 from 11am to 4pm at Legion Headquarters, 2930 American Legion Drive. Call 608-745-1090 for more information. 

The Portage United Methodist Church, 1804 New Pinery Road, will hold a Blood Drive on Thursday, May 27 from 11:30am to 5:30pm. Appointments preferred. For an appointment call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit and enter Sponsor Code: Portage.
St. Mary's Best Fest is back!
For more than 20 years, Best Fest has been a staple of parish life at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception, and, while 2020 put a damper on things, St. Mary’s is once again thrilled to host Best Fest on Friday, May 21 and Saturday, May 22.
The focus this year is on creating a safe and fun experience for the parish community, which means some minor changes to the weekend layout. No need to worry - there will still be live music, food, and plenty of family fun throughout the weekend.

The event is held on the St. Mary's School and Church grounds at 307 West Cook Street. Visit or call 608-742-6998 for more information.
Opening of Historic Sites
Let the start of a new tourism season in Portage begin! The Museum at the Portage opens for the 2021 season on Thursday, May 13. Come visit the exhibits and learn about Portage. Museum hours are 1pm to 4pm, Thursday through Saturday from May to October. 

A brand new season arrives at the Historic Indian Agency House and Fort Winnebago Surgeons Quarters on Saturday, May 15. Be sure to attend the many events planned at both sites throughout the summer.
1st Annual Arts & Crafts Festival
Save the Grandstand Inc. will hold its first annual Arts and Crafts Festival with live bands, food vendors and a beer tent on Saturday, May 22 and Sunday, May 23 at the Columbia County Fairgrounds.
The organization is raising monies to restore the Grandstand back to its original beauty. The Grandstand was built in 1935 and is one of only two art deco Grandstands left in Wisconsin. For more information please contact Bunny Balk at 920-392-9730 or click here for a schedule of events.
Restaurant Revitalization Fund on the way
The new Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) through the Small Business Administration(SBA) as part of the recently signed American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) is now taking applications.

The RRF will offer $28.6 billion in grants to hard-hit restaurants and bars, with these able to apply for grants based on lost revenue. Additionally, $5 billion of that total will be set aside expressly for businesses with 2019 gross receipts of less than $500,000.

Most American restaurants and bars that lost revenue in 2020 versus 2019 will be eligible to apply for RRF grants. The ARPA explicitly names the following types of establishments that should be eligible: “restaurant, food stand, food truck, food cart, caterer, saloon, inn, tavern, bar, lounge, brewpub, tasting room, taproom, licensed facility or premise of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products.” 

However, any restaurant or bar that is part of a publicly-traded company or owned by a state or local government is not eligible to apply. Also, owners that operate more than 20 restaurants are ineligible. Notably, if you are the owner of a franchise and you do not control more than 20 locations, you are likely eligible to apply.

If you are interested in applying you should visit this page on the SBA website.
Training classes starting for CASA
Since returning to the area in 2017 and accepting cases since early 2018, Columbia County CASA has trained 30 volunteers who have served over 2700 hours with 44 children. The next training class will start the second week of May, and run for 8 weeks. Anyone can be an advocate--the time commitment is around 4-6 hours a month which includes weekly visits with the child(ren) and once a month reporting.
What is a CASA? CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) is a nonprofit program that recruits, trains, supervises, and empowers community volunteers who advocate for abused and/or neglected children who are dependents of the court and the child welfare system.

Who is a CASA Advocate? A CASA Advocate is a trained community member who is appointed by a judge to represent the best interest of the child. The CASA advocate spends time with the child on a weekly basis getting to know the child while also gathering information from the child's family, teachers, doctors, caregivers, and others involved in the child's life. No special background or education is required to become a CASA volunteer.
They provide a 30-hour training, focused on developing a strong platform of knowledge, skills, and understanding how to help you become a successful child advocate. There is also ongoing training to help support your individual child and their situation. Every case is different.
What is the Impact? Children with a CASA volunteer are more likely to find a safe, permanent home; Get more help while in the system and receive more services like therapy or tutoring; Have a consistent, positive adult presence in their life; Do better in school and are more likely to graduate.
Become a CASA Advocate Today! For more information visit, call 608-745-9977 or email Take a look at the Impact of CASA in 2020.
Zona Gale MiniConcert
Join us for a Zona Gale MiniConcert featuring Sugar River Collective on Saturday, May 15 at 7pm through Facebook Livestream! The group consists of singer/songwriter Rick Evans, vocalist Marsha Kinzer and harmonicist Martin Saunders. They play original and time-honored folk and blues throughout southern Wisconsin. Admission is your donation:
RSVP here. For more information, contact Portage Center for the Arts, 301 East Cook Street, at 608-742-5655 or
Donate to Alzheimer's and Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin
The Alzheimer’s and Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin is participating in the myWalgreens donation program! You can donate your myWalgreens cash rewards to the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin through May 31.

At Walgreens, you’ll earn unlimited 1% Walgreens Cash rewards when you shop and you can choose how much to donate. It’s that easy. Whether you’d like to contribute $1, $5, or more of your Walgreens Cash rewards you’ll be making a big difference. It really adds up! To learn more about the myWalgreens program visit
WI Tomorrow Small Business Recovery Grants announced
Gov. Tony Evers announced the state will award up to $420 million to small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic through the new Wisconsin Tomorrow Small Business Recovery Grant program, a collaboration between the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and the Department of Revenue (DOR). The effort, funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), has the potential to help approximately 84,000 Wisconsin small businesses that have an annual gross revenue between $10,000 and $7 million. Under the program, small businesses would be eligible for grant awards of $5,000.
The governor’s announcement reflects the strategy of the new Wisconsin Tomorrow: Building an Economy for All report recently released by the WEDC, which calls for investments that advance economic well-being for individuals and communities.
Last month, Gov. Evers announced a robust plan to use the $3.2 billion the state will receive under the ARPA. Among the governor’s key investments for the funds is $2.5 billion toward the state’s economic recovery and well-being, which includes $600 million in funds designated to supporting small businesses. The up to $420 million in grants announced are included in the $600 million Gov. Evers has designated will go to small businesses.
Details of the new grants will not be finalized until federal rules for ARPA funds are in place. States continue to await federal guidance before being able to provide complete program details or open applications. However, preliminary plans by WEDC and DOR call for targeting the program at Wisconsin small businesses, including those that started in 2020, in sectors that have been hit hardest by the pandemic. Individuals and businesses interested in learning more about the Wisconsin Tomorrow Small Business Recovery Grant program can visit this page for updates
Ribbon Cuttings
A ribbon cutting was held at Green Berry Smoothies, 2933 New Pinery Road, to welcome this new business to Portage.

  • Their All-Natural Smoothies match taste with nutrition
  • The ingredients are CLEAN and nutrient dense living foods
  • No Artificial Colors, Additives or Sugars
  • A Healthy place to gather with friends and family
  • Bringing healthy alternatives to the Portage area
  • Get the healing foods and nutrition your body craves at Green Berry Smoothies

For more information, call Green Berry Smoothies at 608-745-9110.
Ribbon Cuttings
A ribbon cutting was held at Saddle Ridge Golf Course,100A Saddle Ridge, to celebrate the newly built Rendezvous restaurant.

All leagues starting in May. Join in on the fellowship and fun! For more information, call 608-742-2181.
Submit your Events!
Are you planning an event this year? Get it posted on our web community calendar at One of the most popular viewed of the Chamber website pages, the calendar allows you to submit your own events.

Simply click this link and submit your events. If you have questions, please call the Chamber office at 608-742-6242.
Spread the word about Portage!
Use #portagewi in your social media posts.
Check out the Chamber's YouTube Channel HERE
Job postings on
Check out these job postings on our Chamber site from our member businesses. You are welcome to post job openings your business may have at any time. Call the Chamber office at 608-742-6242 for more information.
Want to submit an article for this newsletter?
The Chamber's monthly newsletter deadlines the 20th of the month. Members are always welcome to let others know: about new products and services; introduce new associates or promotions; provide updates about their industry or business; give helpful tips; promote a sale or event. For more information, call the Portage Chamber at 608-742-6242.
Text PACC to 51660
to receive information about upcoming Chamber events
Text PORTAGE to 51660
to receive information about upcoming Portage events
Join a Service Club - Meetings subject to change
Rotary - Meets Mondays at Noon at Dino’s Restaurant, 2900 New Pinery Rd.
Lions Club - Meets the 2nd Wednesday of the month at 5:30pm at Dino’s Restaurant, 2900 New Pinery Rd., summer month meetings change locations
Kiwanis - Meets on Wednesdays at Noon at Pizza Ranch, 2905 New Pinery Rd.
Optimists - Meets on Tuesdays at 7am at Dino’s Restaurant, 2900 New Pinery Rd.
Elks - Meets 2nd & 4th Tuesday at 7pm; 4th Tuesday only during July and August
Women's Civic League - Meets 2nd Wednesdays of the month at Dino’s Restaurant, 2900 New Pinery Rd.
Portage Area Chamber of Commerce | 608-742-6242 | |